Six On Saturday: Keeping my head down

It all feels a little grim out there so I’m focussing on the garden. Yes, pretty grim there too, at this time of year, but there’s always something to distract the attention from everyday life. The last of the tulip tree branches that landed in the garden a few weeks back have been shredded and the chippings were used to mulch the raspberries. Rain and foggy mornings have been the overwhelming features of the last week and those tulips bulbs are still waiting to be planted. The thin border seems to be missing some things and quickly the bare patches are being colonised by geranium ‘Gravetye Manor’. This will have to be taken in hand. I am thinking about planting some grasses along this border, something I didn’t think I would ever do here. But what is happening now? Here’s this week’s six.


These are the rain-soaked berries of sarcococca confusa, planted out to replace a box shrub. I’m very happy with this one and it’s doing well in the shadow, and dryness, of the front garden magnolia.


I have dipped into planting grasses in a few spots in the garden. It was suggested to me that they combined best with plants with smaller flowers. But here I have planted them behind hydrangeas. This is calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’. It’s difficult to show its true effect as it is still a young clump but the winter colour is wonderful.


Winter structure is what a garden needs now, and I don’t have much of it! I used to have four euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii but three gave up the struggle to survive in a heavy clay border. For some reason this one battles on and is looking quite strong at the moment. There is always a seedling or two going spare so I have planted out one in a sunnier spot and I have one in a pot ready to drop into a suitable place come Spring. With free plants available I am happy to try them again.


Lining up against a sunny brick wall suits the sage and rosemary shrubs. The rosemary is in flower again, something for the bees to enjoy.


The seeds pods of iris foetidissima are splitting open and giving splashes of colour here and there. These come up underneath the rhododendron and viburnum trees, happily colonising difficult spaces. They are very happy in these tough corners and every now and then need to be thinned.


I am just wondering if I am going to have a second crop of potatoes this year. These are the ‘left behinds’. Could there be a crop for Christmas? I’ll leave them in for as long as the green manure stays and then we’ll see.

There are some fabulous colours on show on Jim’s Garden Ruminations, plus some thoughts for future sixes. With some ingenuity we will get through the winter and keep our posting going. It could become bizarre though! Take a look at the links that appear throughout the day and see what emerges. Happy Gardening.

14 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Keeping my head down

  1. The seeds pods of iris foetidissima are rather lovely, such a welcome splash of colour at this time of year. Do you cut your sage back? I followed Monty’s advice this year and cut mine back in the spring as suggested so they don’t become woody. The ordinary sage came back well but I lost all my purple sage and tricolored varieties.

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  2. ‘Karl Foerster’ grass has worked well for us at work. I would not add it to my own garden because it is merely ornamental. At work though, it is quite visually appealing, without being too refined. We like our landscapes to merge nicely with the surrounding forests. The grasses last only a few years, perhaps because we give them too much water. Replacement is not much more work than cutting back established specimens, so I really do not mind.

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  3. Oh your sage is amazing! I have never been successful growing it even though I have a lot of success with ornamental salvias. I have tried a number of times, and each time the plant gets to a certain stage and then dies almost overnight. Very strange.

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